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Here are six steps to effectively develop your research questions:


Develop a central hypothesis. 


Simple causal question: did A affect B? Limit your hypothesis to only a few outcomes. Choose questions most relevant to policymakers.


Identify secondary outcomes. 


Who are your key subgroups? Are your subgroups statistically well-powered? What are your knowledge or attitude outcomes?


Establish models for identifying pathways. 


Define the key evaluation question. Choose your indicators. Analyze your expected attribution of results. Be honest about what you expect.


Decide what tables and figures you will need. 


What is your main effect figure? What are the key tables and content you will use? How will fidelity be reported?


Exploratory research questions. 


Use exploratory questions to generate hypotheses. What subgroups can be defined by post-intervention characteristics? Consider your treatment analyses and dose effects.


Implementation research issues. 


Understand how or why the program had impact. Did you adhere to the intended program model? What was the context of your implementation? What were your other program expectations?

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